Dan Evans excellent run at the European Open came to an end against Ugo Humbert of France after failing to convert one of the four match points he held in the second set in Antwerp.
I was four match points down but I was mentally strong and I took my opportunities. I remained aggressive and when I won the second set, I knew I’d regained the momentum Ugo Humbert
He lost 4-6 7-6(7) 6-4 to the unseeded Frenchman who goes on to play the eighth seed Alex de Minaur in the final, thereby ending the hopes of a third British player collecting the title for a third consecutive year.
After climing the opening set, Evans, ranked 35, fell 3-0 behind in the second but fought back to take it to a tiebreak. However, the Frenchman, ranked 38, mounted his own comeback from 3-6 down and again at 6-7 to force a decider.
A break of serve in the opening game of the decider then gave 22-year-old Humbert the advantage and, after three hours and 14-minutes on court, he converted his third match point to move into the final.
“The start of the match wasn’t easy as he didn’t give me much pace and suddenly he accelerated,” Humbert said after he reached the second ATP Tour final of his career.
“I was four match points down but I was mentally strong and I took my opportunities. I remained aggressive and when I won the second set, I knew I’d regained the momentum.”
Humbert, aged 22, is the fourth Frenchman to reach the Antwerp final since the tournament started in 2016 and he will be looking to follow in the footsteps of compatriots Richard Gasquet and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga who won the title in 2016 and 2017.
Australia’s de Minaur beat fourth seeded Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov 7-6(4) 6-7(3) 6-4 in the other semi-final.
World ranked 28, De Minaur, 21and winner of three titles last year, defeated the world number 20 and eight-time ATP title winner Dimitrov in two-hours and 48-minutes.
De Minaur and Humbert will meet for the first time in their careers.